After the monkeys, I went to the book shop to read the rest of Cerulean Sins, the latest Anita Blake book by Laurrell K. Hamilton. I finished it -- and yeah, I admit I skimmed some parts. Hey, I don't need the outfits each and every character is wearing described in vivid detail for three paragraphs. I like it, but yeah, I have quibbles. 1) Anita, please get over your sex hang-ups. I'd like you so much better if you did! 2) What is with the lack of description about the victims? Hello, serial killers usually have a certain type. Yeah, okay, the mystery is never the main aspect of these books, but less with the horrific details of their deaths and more about WHY. 3) Micah. I really don't like him. He's such a... a non-entity! No personality! At least Nathaniel has an excuse, and even he got a deeper look into his psyche in this book. 4) The amazing disappearing assassin! Look, he's there in the first chapter, and then he disappears throughout the rest of the book right up until the very last chapters! Amazing! 5) Though referenced several times, the word "dick" is never once explicitly mentioned in any sex scene. Too crass, I guess. 6) Damien wasn't there enough.
Okay, okay, there were also several things I did like. One that stand out are the playful, laughing sex between Jean-Claude and Anita. I can see that they love each other. Very nice. I also like the interaction between Anita and Jason. Real friends, there. And Asher. I cannot tell you how much I adore Asher. Give her hell, boy! Also, Zebrowski. I love Zebrowski. Yes. Yes, I enjoyed the book overall, despite its many many faults.
Me likey this blog. Cool lists! My favorite recent entries copied below.
BACK OF BEYOND
Most languages and cultures have sayings for the back of beyond. In Australia, they say someone lives way out Woop Woop, or beyond the black stump (referring to a burnt tree trunk in deepest Queensland once used as a marker by surveyors and mappers); they also refer to beyond the back blocks and beyond the wallaby.
Even the bible indulged in this suspicion of the faraway, with Cain being banished to the scary sounding East of Eden. In Scotland, sometimes Inversneck is used (a nickname for Inverness or any supposedly rural town of the north). Boondocks, used by Americans, was a term US soldiers picked up in the Philippines, from the local word for mountains.
In the fine book Your Mother's Tongue, which is all about swearing and slang in European languages, Stephen Burgen collects some more of these, some of which were new to me: the French say en plein bled (in the open desert), or Tripatouille-les-Oies, a mock town name which means 'the place where they tamper with geese'. Germans say 'where the fox and hare say goodnight to each other' or just 'where the foxes bid one another good night'. The Hispanics tend to be as religious and surreal on this as on everything. In Spain, they talk of 'where Christ dropped his lighter'. In Portugal, it is 'where Judas lost his boots' while in Cuba, curiously, they talk of the back of beyond as 'where God painted St Peter and didn't get round to the bicycle'.
CHAIN OF THOUGHT
Mamihlapinatapei is a word from the native language of Tierra del Fuego which means 'a shared glance of longing where both know the meaning but neither is quite willing to make the move', which leads me to...
... the Philippines, where, I'm told, a word exists which means 'yes' but connotes the idea of 'no' - the word is used in awkward situations where offence needs to be avoided. So if a boy asks an unwilling girl to the cinema, she can say 'yes', safe in the knowledge that he knows it means 'no', which leads me to...
WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NAMES
Some interesting street name trivia:
In Manila, there is a subdivision (housing project) where all the streets are named after beauty queens. Montreal is called the City of Saints, as all the early streets were named after saints. The streets of SoHo in NYC are named after Washington's generals. In Maputo, Mozambique many streets are named after leading communists and revolutionaries. The city of Tartu in Estonia has an area called Suppilinn, where all the streets are named after soup ingredients!
Stratford, NZ has, not surprisingly, streets named after Shakespearean characters. Hanoi old town has streets named after produce available at the local market. The Dutch new town of Almere has divisions where streets are named after film stars, novelists, seasons, colours, famous parks and dances. Paris has a small district nicknamed Europe, since streets there were named for European cities. Davis, California has a Tolkein street-name themed subdivision.
On the outskirts of Nashville, there is a development named Stonehenge, where all the street names have tangential links to the ancient stone edifice - these include streets named after Abingdon, Salisbury and, erm, Portsmouth and, believe it or not, streets named after the band members from Spinal Tap, who famously had a miniature Stonehenge on stage. In Banff, Alberta, where I spent last winter, most of the streets are named after local wildlife eg Muskrat Street, Hawk Avenue, Beaver Street (make up your own smutty joke here).
A few strange but true American street names:
Road to Happiness
None Such Place
Shades of Death Road
Pinchgut Hollow Road
Apparently, in Washington DC, there is a set of streets which run alphabetically A Street, B Street etc, but J is strangely missing.*
Toronto has both Memory Lane and Milky Way!
In the British Isles, we have:
Barroon Biggin (Castle Donington)
Granny Clark's Wynd (the road which goes on to cross the 1st and 18th fairways of the famous Old Course at St Andrews)
Jawbones (Bempton, Yorks)
The Land of Green Ginger, Rotten Herring Street (both Hull)
Cockstoolpit Hill (Macclesfield)
Mardol, Dogpole, Shoplatch, Wyle Cop and Murivance (all Shrewsbury)
Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate, Bad Bargain Lane (both York)
Holy Bones (Leicester)
Split Crow Road (Newcastle-u-T)
Gibble Gabble (near Manchester)
Cutlog Vennel, Needless Road (both Perth)
Cow Parlour, Roper's Rest, Misery Hill, Artichoke Road (all Dublin)
Air Balloon Road, Snail Creep Lane, There and Back Again Lane, Beggar's Bush Lane (all Bristol, the last is actually a long road out of the city, which I can see from our window)
Source: various (thanks to Meagan, Karen, Michael, Jon and Jessica for additions to the list)
*This reminds me of a 'strangely missing' fact: in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, at the end, when Snow White kisses all the dwarves goodbye, she only kisses six, one is misisng - I think it's Sleepy or Sneezy. What can it mean?
1 takeover / overtake
2 offset / set-off
3 night-watch / watch-night
4 gunshot / shotgun
5 long-life / lifelong
6 boathouse / houseboat
7 outlook / lookout
8 payback / backpay
9 fall-back / backfall
10 takeout / outtake
11 phonecard / cardphone
12 line-out / outline
13 schoolday / day-school
14 turnover / overturn
15 layout / outlay
16 setback / backset
17 uptake / take-up
18 sleepover / oversleep
19 punch-card / cardpunch
20 break-out / outbreak
21 upset / set-up
Also? I still love osanna and tossblack. >>>LOVES<<<